Posts by Cenin

India’s Top Safari Destinations – Edition 2019

Whenever we contemplate planning our vacations, we either opt for a beach romantic feel type of vacation or conquering the mountains. Planning a wildlife safari holiday in India is in itself a very pleasantly unconventional choice. Whether you squeeze in 1 or 2 safaris in your contemporary itinerary or plan an all exclusive wildlife safari holiday, the choice is your’s. But as per our experiences we suggest you to plan an absolutely dedicated wildlife holiday to make the most of your time with your loved ones.

We list down India’s top 8 safari destinations based on our personal visits and the chronology is made on the basis of the chances of spotting the wildlife in it’s most natural form and on the charismatic aura of the safari as a whole.

All the safari timings mentioned in this blog post is sourced from the official websites.

We suggest you to check the timings as and when you book your safaris.

All our safari holiday planning was done by Cenin Travels based in Nagpur, Maharashtra.

You can contact them on www.ceninsafaris.com or send an email on anup@cenintravels.com

you can contact their manager Mr. Anup 09028004601

They are amazing safari planners in India.


1.  Kanha National Park , Madhya Pradesh


Kanha, Madhya Pradesh

Among the 8 national parks that we will be listing in this blogpost, Kanha has its own special place in our hearts. We visited the Kanha National Park in the Mid-February when the summers have just begun in India. The forest is so beautiful and welcoming that you will immediately connect to the wildlife and will instantly forget the outside world. Kanha National Park is a tiger reserve and home to the tiger celeb Munna, the most photographed tiger in the world. The oddity of Munna is that the stripes on his forehead spells the letter “CAT”. He is the oldest tiger of Kanha National Park and fondly known as the “King of Kanha”.

The nearest station to Kanha National Park is Gondia which is at a distance of about 145 kms and Jabalpur which is at at distance of about 165 kms.

The nearest airport to Kanha National Park is Jabalpur which is at a distance of about 160 kms.

Jabalpur has the nearest airport and railway which is about 3 hours away. Mandla is the nearest city. Khatia (3 km from Kisli) and Mukki are the two main entry points to the Kanha National Park. From Jabalpur, Kisli is 165 km via Chiraidongri, and Mukki is 203 km via Motinala and Garhi.

The King of Kanha, Munna

2. Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra

We visited Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Mid-February, around the same time when we visited Kanha National Park. Unlike Kanha National Park, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is relatively dry and barren. As it is located in the central region of Maharashtra state of India, it receives very little rainfall which lets you spot the fauna near and around the water bodies of the Tiger reserve. You can spot deers, sambhars, langurs, blue bulls, tigers with their cubs, etc. It is also a treat to the bird watchers. As this Tiger reserve is not densely forested, the probability of spotting the wildlife increases and the visibility is clear.

The nearest station to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is Chandrapur which is at a distance of about 45 kms.

The nearest airport to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is Nagpur which is at a distance of about 140 kms.

The nearest airport to Tadoba is the Nagpur airport which is at a distance of around 140 km. It is well connected to the important places nearby and can be reached by hiring a taxi.

Matkasur, the oldest surviving tiger of Tadoba


Tigress Tara with her cubs, Tadoba



3. Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Tiger cub, Bandhavgarh National Park

Bandhavgarh National Park has a prepossessing terrain which is a combination of meadows, tall grasslands and plateaus that combine together to form a captivating landscape. Bandhavgarh National Park is famous for Bengal Tigers and has the highest number of tigers in India which makes it as a tourist friendly tiger reserve. If you are lucky and patient you can spot leopards and sloth bears apart form the famous Bengal Tiger.

The nearest station to Bandhavgarh National Park is Umaria which is at a distance of about 35 kms and Khajurao is at a distance of about 250 kms. Only jeeps are available for transfers.

The nearest airport to Bandhavgarh National Park is Khajurao which is at a distance of about 225 kms.

Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh

Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh


4. Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh


Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra


Morning sunrise at Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra

5. Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka

Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka

Herds of Elephants spotted on boat safari at Nagarhole National Park


6. Jawai Leopard Reserve, Rajasthan

The rocky terrains of Jawai

Beautiful Sunset at the Jawai Leopard Reserve

We got to know about this not so popular Leopard reserve by watching a documentary on National Geographic. This documentary made us plan a visit to spot leopards in their natural habitat and living in unusual mountain terrains. The hills of Jawai have been formed buy the volcanic eruptions that occurred millions of years ago and these rock shelters have become a perfect abode to the Leopards and hyenas in Rajasthan, India. The unique peculiarity of the Jawai Leopard reserve is that you can easily spot the leopards during the day time and if not adult leopards then don’t feel blue because you will surely be able to spot their cute little cubs running around the hills of Jawai. Leopards are usually shy animals and are not easily potted in dense forested regions or in the day time. But the barren hills of Jawai increases the Leopard spotting to a great extent.

The nearest railway station to Jawai Leopard Reserve is Falna which is at a distance of about 21 kms.

The nearest airport to Jawai Leopard Reserve is Udaipur which is at a distance of about 132 kms.


The safari timings for Jawai Leopard Reserve  are very flexible. You can confirm the timings with the hotel you are staying at.


7. Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan :

Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan

Though situated in the dry state of Rajasthan, Ranthambhore National Park is surprisingly thickly forested. We made a visit to the Ranthambore National Park in the early days of the month of February. As winters are still at peak during the month of February in Rajasthan we could not have the desired encounter with the wild lives during our safari at the Ranthambore National Park.

The nearest railway station to Ranthambhore National Park is Sawai Madhopur which is at a distance of about 10 kms.

The nearest airport to Ranthambhore National Park is Jaipur which is at a distance of about 145 kms.

Bird Watcher’s Delight


8. Jim Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand



So while planning a safari holiday be very open to all the experiences that you will encounter majorly with respect to the wildlife and their natural behaviour. Even if you do not spot any of the wildlife in your safari, do not get upset for it not being worthwhile decision to visit but on the contrary do enjoy the beautiful and serene surroundings of the forest and make the most of it.


Stay tuned for more blogposts in this series and to know our personal experiences on some memorable wildlife safaries we had in India.

Once in The Running to Become India’s National Bird is Close to Extinction !

Once in the running to become India’s national bird, the great Indian bustard (GIB) is now fluttering for survival. Earlier found across several states of India, it is now on the brink of extinction and in absence of a strong political will to reverse the declining population trend, its revival looks near impossible.

The Indian bustard is considered among the largest flying birds in the world. In the early 1960s, when India was choosing its national bird, the GIB was a top contender with support from the country’s famous ornithologist Salim Ali. But it lost the race to the glamorous peacock due to its name which had the potential for an embarrassing misspelling.


The great Indian bustard is the national state bird of Rajasthan. The state has the highest population of GIBs among Indian states


  • The great Indian bustard is close to extinction. Government action is moving at a slow pace despite the urgency of efforts required to ensure the bird’s survival.
  • The main threats to the shrinking habitat of the GIB have been industrialization, mining, and intensive agricultural practices.
  • Experts feel India needs to act fast and collectively to save the GIB otherwise it will walk into extinction within our lifetime.


However, in 2018, the bird’s future is in peril. Its population has been on a continuous decline from an estimated 1,260 in 1969 to 300 in 2008 recording a decline of about 75 percent. At present, its population is estimated to be of less than 200 across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Among these states, Rajasthan has the highest population with estimated 100-150 birds while in Maharashtra and Gujarat, the numbers are significantly low. In April 2018, a survey by the scientists of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), India’s top wildlife institute, found only eight GIBs in Maharashtra. In February 2018, a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) pegged their numbers at 20 in Gujarat.

The fall in the population of the GIBs has been consistent over the decades. The biggest threat to their shrinking habitat has been industrialization, mining, and intensive agricultural practices. The recent WII report noted that data indicated that the “GIB prefers open grasslands and agricultural fields of sorghum, groundnuts, and pigeon pea.”

The Indian government’s focus on welfare and conservation of large mammals like tiger, lion, and elephants has not helped the GIB’s cause either.

“There are less than 100 of these birds left. But there is nothing being done. This would be the first bird that will go extinct in our lifetime”.

The Backstreet Girls & Boys of Tadoba

With good rains round the corners of our orange city…. Entire city has turned green… In the midst of tussle between development of city and its originality, Nagpurians are witnessing a paradigm change in their hometown.

Not many years ago, when we were school going kids, our morning alarms were birds chirping around early morning. Don’t know what kind of urgency they used to have so early morning… No schools, No tuitions, No homework…Yet, the birds waking up and moving early in the morning…. I never understood that. Always used to say to the koelsinging on my rooftop that he was extremely lucky, he just has to impress his lady love by singing… not much of a work for that dude!!

Years passed by, irritating alarm clocks replaced that pleasant chirping birds… and not much has changed. Only that our school, homework related tensions were replaced by tension to earn more than our peers, Corporate Games we play, never ending EMIs we pay, getting settled & planning for foreign vacations etc. But, the koel is still impressing his lady love… the birds are still waking up quite early and chirping pleasantly. Though, their population seems declining. But, still, its good in Nagpur, than other metros.Its just that we don’t listen to chirping birds nowadays. Early morning, either we listen to new age bhajans or start a day straight away with rock concert in our ears. No natural sound. But life goes on. Our city is moving on. Our city is getting ready for 2020 indeed, with better infrastructure and other opportunities.And a fine balance between its original looks and modern transformation.

Sipping a cup of tea, looking out of window during the rains at my home in Nagpur, I was wondering what it would be like in October once rains take sabbatical.. We would welcome our biggest festival of Deepawali and look forward to cool winter. Well, pretty much routine. There will be another sly debate on whether to use firecrackers or not. Better I move to my core… the Jungles. Yes!

Jungle!! Where I am lost to the wilderness. Yet, I am with Myself. I am real me. But which is the best place to get lost … certainly its Tadoba near Chandrapur this year!

Well… well… well… no one can imagine, how much I have missed my princess girl Maya the tigress and the emperor Matkasur !! While I know they both mated just before the closure of park, I am expecting third litter from Maya by October!

Maya is real Queen of Tadoba and Matkasur has earned the entire territory on his raw Power. They will be proud parents this season. A new chapter in their life indeed.

Tadoba is the place to watch out for at least next 24 months. Not many years ago, they were struggling to set themselves up in this big forest. And look at them now. Sure, time flies.

While Matkasur is real King right now, but its not all black and white with him. This handsome 7 year adult has his erstwhile girlfriend Choti Tara (tigress) and her 2 male cubs are fiercely defending their territory from any transgression by this haut couple!!

Come towards Telia lake and the first name it clicks to me is of SONAM.. what a beauty she is.. and well she’s also favorite with BBC people! Yes, she is the same Sonam from the documentary “tiger sisters of telia” With her second litter of 3 cubs, Sonam is guarding her Telia Territory quite comfortably. Male tigers… better watch out !! The other Sister, Madhuri, mother of 4 is ruling the beautiful Agarzhari area… she & her family is quite an eye candy for all visiting tourists.

One of the most revered Male Tiger, Bajrang is sometimes around Telia. Though, his territory is mostly in the non-tourist part of the reserve. Sighting of Bajrang does make your heartbeat miss for sure. For men, they miss their heartbeat by simply seeing him as a robust male, a kinda sallu bhai and for women, do I need to say when we talk about Salman bhai …. Why do girls love Salman !! ? Wait, did they see Bajrang Tiger of Tadoba and then made Bajrangi Bhaijaan !!

Bajrang, the noble Tiger mated Sonam junior last season. Will be interesting how they are going along.

Scarface or Waghdoh Male is around Devada and Junona buffer area. Should be interesting to see his moves this season. Waghdoh female with her 3 cubs in and around waghdoh area will be quite fun to watch kids growing up.

When I enter through Kolsa gate of Tadoba, 4 cubs and their mother, Shivanjhari female welcomes with their unique movements around. They are quite tourist friendly.

Lastly, Khali… yes the same guy whose staring eyes and alert posture clearly convey that you are not welcome in his area… Agarjhari range. He is the guy to watchout for sure. I just hope Khali, Bajrang, and Matkasur never fight each other at all… otherwise it will be no less than world war without nukes here.

Nukes…. Ah, the worst application of science and the biggest threat to our nature. What do we want … that we as humans threaten other humans for some land or some economic interests by compromising mother-nature…  Lets learn from these big cats… They settle their dominance amongst themselves, not by damaging nature. Can we learn a bit from them? Let’s grow, Let’s Rule our profession, & Lets live Kingsize but Lets live a responsible life by honoring mother-nature, not compromising it.

And while I was still sipping my tea, I just realized that whatever may have been the situation these rockstars of Tadoba… led by Girls like Maya, Sonam, etc meticulously follow laws of nature, yes. Also, the chirpy birds who still wake up early in the morning around me, are following rules of nature. Do they eat any food after sun set ? Try offering them in the evening. Do they eat ? the answer is big NO.  Mother Nature surely gives us signals like eating dinner before sun set, getting up early in the morning, listening to natural sounds which will ignite compassion and also, survival of the fittest criterion for our professional lives. But look at us…Our party begins at 10 PM and continues till wee hours … Eat and Drink… unlimited…. And then, we say, we drink tea without sugar or I prefer green tea. All Nautanki !!

Those chirpy birds, and those backstreet girls and boys of Tadoba taught another lesson of life so subtly to me…. ‘Follow the laws of Nature’. Period.


Himanshu Bagde.

“A wildlife safari professional, India “